Attention chocoholics: The Chocolate Expo is coming to the Garden State Plaza in Paramaus, NJ, on Sunday, Jan. 27, from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Now in its 11th year, organizers claim that it’s America’s largest chocolate festival.
Local, regional and international vendors at the expo will offer tastings and sales of gourmet chocolates, baked goods, specialty foods, cheeses, wines and more. Participating chocolatiers will include Caramella Moo, Chocolates U, Chocolate Works, Chocolate Moonshine, Lily’s Chocolate Paradise, Raw Chocolate Love, Teacher’s Recipe Fudge, The Pretzel Princess and VillaKuyaya Organic Ecuadorian Chocolate.
“Naturally, all chocolate booths are popular at this event, but chocolate-covered bacon from Bacon Bites seems to get the most attention of all,” revealed Risa Hoag, a spokesperson for The Chocolate Expo. “Wines and cheeses, which both pair well with chocolate, also are extremely popular. One of the wineries, Laurita Winery, even has a chocolate wine called ‘Chocolate Therapy.’”
Other goodies available will include lobster mac-and-cheese, coffees, pickles, 30 varieties of honey, pretzel challahs, Nutella pizza and natural sodas (including chocolate-flavored, of course), according to Hoag.
When you’re ready for a break from the tasty treats, The Chocolate Expo’s “Kidz Zone” will have free face painting, children’s activities and photo opportunities with costumed characters, including princesses.
For the adults, appearances by stars from two classic movies are planned: Paris Themmen, who played Mike TeeVee in the original “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” and Adrian Hall, who played Jeremy Potts in the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” movie. The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Car, which was featured at the NY International Auto Show in 2016 and recently driven and autographed by actor Dick Van Dyke, will be on display in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the film.
Admission is $15 per adult and $10 per child (ages 5-11), when purchased online from www.ChocolateExpo.com, and $20 per adult and $15 per child at the door. Children under 5 will be admitted for free. Attendees can choose their arrival time at when purchasing tickets and stay for as long as they like.
“We highly recommend people buy tickets online,” said Hoag. “Even if tickets are available at the door, ticket holders who buy online will get priority admission if there is a line to get in.”
A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $30 each. The VIP ticket allows entry at any time during the day, plus a deluxe insulated Chocolate Expo tote bag (a $10 value).
Also available are “5PM Special” tickets that offer reduced adult admission for arrival after 5 p.m. These tickets sell online for $10 each (all ages, 5 and up) and $15 per person at the door.
Learn more at www.ChocolateExpo.com.